The Catherine Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Scholarship is given bi-annually by Mind & Life to a scholar in an academic discipline, whose significant contribution to the study of contemplation and compassion exemplifies Cathy Kerr’s work, including bold innovation, imagination, courage, authenticity, and heartfulness. Academic disciplines of those eligible to apply include all of sciences (e.g., natural and social sciences) and humanities (e.g. philosophy, religious studies, law).

We invite nominations of individuals who break new ground in their work in creative ways that serve the greater good; who gravitate towards topics that are understudied and/or populations who are underserved in contemplative research approaches; and who conduct their scholarship in a way that embodies generosity, inclusion, and altruism. 

Nominations for the 2022 Catherine Kerr Award will open in June. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of future updates.

Past Recipients


Peter Wayne, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Convening Faculty, Fellow

Peter Wayne, a 2020 Kerr Award recipient, gave a distinguished live presentation at Inspiring Minds (Mind & Life’s online conversation series) as part of the December 2020 event “Finding Connections: Pathways to Embodied Wisdom.” Watch the video »

Patricia (Tish) Jennings, MEd, PhD

University of Virginia

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee

Patricia Jenning, a 2018 Kerr Award recipient, gave a Distinguished Lecture at Mind & Life’s 2018 International Symposium for Contemplative Research: “Education for Peace: Transforming our Schools with Mindfulness and Compassion.” Watch the video »

Norman Farb, PhD

University of Toronto Mississauga

Fellow, Grantee

Norman Farb, a 2018 Kerr Award recipient, gave a Distinguished Lecture at Mind & Life’s 2018 International Symposium for Contemplative Research: “How to Choose Between Beautiful Stories.” Watch the video »